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It's Election Day: Voters will choose a mayor, council member; decide fate of school sports, county funding, and fireworks
The candidate appearances and forums are over. The last letters to the editor of the campaign season have been published. The last ballots are being mailed or dropped off today.
Today is Election Day, and it will be an election to remember.
By the end of the day, Friday Harbor will have a new mayor: Carrie Lacher or Robert Low. The Town Council member and county fire marshal, respectively, campaigned for the office in the first contested race for mayor since 1997.
There were also contested races for Friday Harbor Town Council, Friday Harbor Port Commission, and San Juan Island Park and Recreation Commission.
Barring challenges from write-in candidates, several candidates have new jobs come Jan. 1: Noel Monin, appointed in June to a Town Council vacancy, is the sole candidate to serve out the rest of the term, which expires Dec. 31, 2011. On the San Juan Island School Board, Roche Harbor General Manager Brent Snow and Friday Harbor High School PTA president Deborah Nolan are sole candidates for board positions. Michael Roger is a sole candidate for a position of the island's hospital district commission.
Voters today decide whether to renew property tax funding for the San Juan Island Park and Recreation District -- aka Island Rec -- and add an additional amount to fund high school sports. They will also decide whether to increase their property tax contribution to the county to save some non-essential, but important, programs and services.
Proponents of both measures say the total amount of tax requested -- 29 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation -- comes as a San Juan Island School District bond measure of 60 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation expires, so property owners will actually pay less tax while saving positions, programs and services.
On Orcas Island, voters will decide whether to create their own tax-supported recreation district. Countywide voters will decide whether to reject an ordinance that bans the use of safe and sane fireworks.
Ballots must be deposited at the elections office or in an elections drop box by 8 p.m. today. Ballots being mailed in must be postmarked today, but keep in mind that post offices close at 3 p.m.
Ballot drop boxes are located at the Lopez Island Fire Station, Orcas Senior Center, and in front of the county courthouse on Second Street in Friday Harbor
SanJuanJournal.com will post election stories, including results and the impact of the vote in each race, after the polls close tonight.
About 11,535 people are registered to vote in San Juan County, Elections Supervisor Doris Schaller said.